‘No Limits’ for Subaru

Subaru of America is expanding Crocodile Dundee actor Paul Hogan’s role in its advertising, featuring him in spots for the Legacy and Impreza as well as his traditional role for Outback station wagons.
The Cherry Hill, N.J.-based Subaru rolled out its advertising last week to dealers with a “No limits” theme. The five new TV spots from Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas, are set to begin airing in August. The automaker will retain its “The beauty of all-wheel drive” tagline.
The spot that seemed to garner the most attention featured Hogan with a sled dog team comparing the animals’ abilities in the snow to the Subaru all-wheel drive system. At the end of the spot, Hogan whistles and the dogs jump into the back of an Outback, demonstrating that the vehicle is more than up to the task of frozen terrain, said one dealer who attended the meeting.
Subaru may be stretching it a bit with a “Generation X” Impreza spot that has Hogan and his nephew attending a party deep in the woods. The ad attempts to cast the Impreza in a more trendy light and is somewhat out of character for Hogan, who is dressed in “hip” clothing.
In the past, Subaru has used Hogan chiefly for the Outback and Forester sport utility models, not its other car lines. But this year Hogan also will be in two spots for the 2000 Legacy sedan–one for the performance G/T and another for the Outback-themed sport utility sedan. The Legacy ads are described as a softer sell, aimed more squarely at Subaru’s strong female demographic. Hogan also is in second Outback wagon spot.
Dealers are bullish on Hogan and welcome his expanded role. Several dealers have given Hogan credit for Subaru’s revival in recent years. Actor Judge Reinhold, who has been featured in some of the automaker’s non-Outback advertising, was not in any of the August spots.
Dealers also were enthusiastic about H. William “Bill” Cypher III, Subaru’s new vice president of marketing. It was the first dealer meeting he attended in his new job.